The Iranian foreign ministry welcomed start of treatment for detained Nigerian Shiite leader Ibrahim al-Zakzaky and his wife who have flown to India.
"We hope that presence of Mr. Zakzaky outside the country will provide a better opportunity for resolving the problems of the last few years between the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and the government to guarantee the Shiites' rights, removing the restrictions on the IMN and freedom of the prisoners," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Moussavi said on Tuesday.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran supports this process and declares its readiness for any assistance," he added.
Moussavi also wished full health for Sheikh Zakzaky.
In a statement, the IMN said Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife had left for Delhi, accompanied by a government security escort to ensure their return.
The group says he has suffered two minor strokes and is losing his sight.
Sheikh Zakzaky, a prominent Shiite leader, has been in detention along with his wife for close to four years despite the deterioration of his health conditions.
Last Tuesday, in an exclusive interview with FNA, Dr. Pourrahim Najafabadi, MD, said Sheikh Zakzaky needs to be cured by an experienced medical team of physicians in a specialized multi-specialty hospital outside Nigeria, since there is no such medical center in the African country.
"With the current physical condition of the Sheikh, especially the virulent lead poisoning, Sheikh’s life is seriously at risk by delayed treatment. Meanwhile, there is a need for special medical care even in case of complete medical treatment. There is serious risk to Sheikh’s life if he is kept under detention,” said Najafabadi, the founder and spokesperson of a group of expert physicians who have volunteered to treat Sheikh Zakzaky.
Also, last Sunday, a group of doctors from Pakistan, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq in a letter to the Nigerian government pointed to Sheikh Zakzaky's physical conditions, and asked the Nigerian government to transfer him to a well-equipped hospital as soon as possible.